According to the World Health Organization, between 93-95% of the population needs to be vaccinated against measles in order to reach herd immunity. In Colorado, 88.7% of Kindergartners are vaccinated against measles. How did this happen? It could be the decades of misinformation built upon a factually false study. It could be the echo chambers that social media creates. In the end, it doesn’t matter how it happened. It must be fixed.
The simple answer is to make vaccinations mandatory in order for a kid to enter school. In theory, this is already the case in Colorado. In practice, exemptions have allowed parents to skirt the law–creating the dangerous situation we have today. Kyle Mullica, a representative in the Colorado legislature, is drafting a bill that will take away these exemptions. Opposition by the minority anti-vaxxers will be fierce, but irrelevant.
Unlike many other debates in public discourse, there are not two sides to the this issue. They can argue that vaccines cause autism. They are wrong. They can argue that vaccines are not safe. They are wrong. They can argue that forcing vaccines upon people is immoral. In reality, you must only vaccinate your child if you choose to send them to public school.
The state government must do its part to keep our kids safe. Current law does not do that. We must eradicate all non-medical exemptions. By doing nothing, we will only continue to see our vaccination rates drop and our outbreaks increase in magnitude.